Sometimes it hard to think of a fun activities to do with seniors. It may seem like you have nothing in common and, limited mobility can make it even more difficult. Here are some ideas but you’ll need to use your judgement. Every situation is different and every senior has their abilities and limitations, but hopefully these will get the ball rolling. The important thing is to do something that will put a smile on their face! If you’re reading this during COVID-19, of course take the necessary precautions to keep you and your loved ones safe.
Take Photos With Them
Get silly or serious, but taking photos with a loved one lets them know you care—especially if its a grandchild requesting it. Be sure to make a print and give it to them!
Puzzles are great to keep the mind engaged and just for fun while having conversation, but creating a custom puzzle of a special photo is even more exciting. Maybe it’s a photo you know they love of all of their grandkids, or a favorite vacation spot. There are several online website that can create custom puzzles for just this occasion
Embrace Their Hobby
What have they always enjoyed doing? Gardening? Photography? Baking? Dancing? Plan a special day centered around something they love. Even if they can’t physically do the activity like they used to, use your imagination. Who says you can’t dance in a wheelchair? Or pot some plants while sitting at a table. When there’s a will, there’s a way.
Who says everyone has to come to grandma and grandpa? Why not surprise the grandkids with a visit? Bring over a pizza or a board game and make a night of it.
Record Their Stories
With the capabilities of smart phones, there’s no excuse not to have oral recordings from grandparents. This is an amazing gift to children, grandchildren and great grandchildren. Ask them anything and everything. Seniors love talking about “the good old days” and it makes them feel special. Not to mention, capturing their memories will be a priceless heirloom for the entire family.
Be An Audible Book
Audible books or books on tape are great, but reading a book is such a gift to a senior, especially if they are a book lover and their eyesight no longer enables them to read. Choose a comfy location, grab some snacks, pick a selection from their favorite author and make an afternoon of it!
See Live Music
It could be a concert in the park or a more formal night at the symphony. Music is food for the soul! If they love classical music, even a free concert from your local symphony orchestra group would be fun. Many restaurants have outdoor patios with a myriad of musical entertainment. Just peruse the selections and take your pick.
Have them pick a classic and settle in for the night with some snacks. Sure, they’ve probably seen this flick a dozen times, but it’s the look on their face while they’re watching it that will make you happy.
Take Them To the Pool
Weather dependent, of course, there is nothing more refreshing than the feeling of weightlessness when plunging into water. There’s no shortage of fun activities for seniors if you live near a beach, or a hot spring, or a community center with a pool? Many seniors have not been in a pool in years, maybe decades, and the feeling of getting in a pool can make one feel young again! Even if it’s just dipping your feet in.
Create A Custom Music Playlist
Talk to them about the type of music they like — even specific songs and singers. Then create a custom playlist they can play on their phone, Alexa or even a small listening device. Music has been shown to even help dementia patients.
Make An Art Project With Them
It could be a quilt, or a painting or a mosaic tile project. Gather the materials, come up with a design and go for it. What a wonderful way to spend time together!
Visit Art Galleries or Museums
Discover your inner art critic or history buff. Taking a stroll through an art gallery or learning about history can be a fun break from the day-to-day.
Make An Ancestry Account
Help them create an account on Ancestry.com and connect with other relatives, input historical information and record important data for their descendants.
Help Them Plan/Host A Gathering
Maybe it’s lunch or just afternoon tea. Help them plan the menu, prepare, make invitations and host an afternoon visit with one or more friends.
Introduce them to Podcasts
Podcasts have become a popular pastime. Find one they may be interested in, whether it’s about travel, gardening, history, music and more. There are podcasts about everything!
Go To A Sporting Event
Whether it’s their grandchild’s tennis match, a minor league baseball game or an NFL game, imagine what fun it would be to sit and hear the crowd while eating a hot dog and soaking in some sunshine.
Make A Family Cookbook
What a treasure this could be for friends and family. In fact, you could make all the recipes and take photos for the book.
Play Video Games
Maybe not the more complicated ones that you might find teens playing but there are some fun games like Angry Birds, Candy Crush and more.
Get A Coloring Book
There is a beautiful array of coloring books geared towards adults. The task-oriented but creative activity can be quite therapeutic for anyone.
While this may not seem like something YOU would like to do, many seniors long for the time when they were responsible for this kind of task. Even an hour outside with a rake in their hand will bring a smile to their face.
Bake Cookies for Neighbors
Sometimes seniors feel like everyone is “doting all over them” so turning the attention to someone else will help them feel less needy and give them a sense of purpose.
Some fun activities for seniors (or anyone, for that matter) can be treating themselves to a new outfit, or even something for the house like a new candle, flowers or holiday decoration. Everyone deserves a treat to brighten their day and the activity of shopping for it can be just as fun as enjoying it at home.
Go Out For A Sweet Treat
Hmmmm! An ice cream cone. A donut and coffee at the favorite local spot. It’s not something you can do every day, but it’s a fun treat every now and then.
Scan Pinterest and find something fun to do together. Maybe you cut up some old shirts and make pillows or decoupage some old bottles or make a scrapbook. With a little help you can help them create something fun!
Give your loved one a manicure, pedicure, and/or hand or neck massage using their favorite scents. You could even do their hair and makeup for the full pampered effect.
Writing letters is quickly becoming a lost art. But the older generation still appreciates a hand-written note. Offer to write the note per their dictation and mail it for them.
Take Part in Holidays
If it’s Easter, color eggs. Halloween, go to a pumpkin patch. Christmas, attend a Christmas concert or see some holiday lighting. Help them enjoy the holidays, too.
Go On A Picnic
On a beautiful day, throw some chairs in the car and go to a local park with a picnic basket full of their favorite goodies. They will enjoy the fresh air and watching families play and have fun. Even better — invite a friend or extended family to join you.
If your loved one doesn’t have a pet, consider finding someone with a gentle dog that would come for a visit. Pet therapy has proven to decrease depression and provide loving companionship, if only for short periods at a time.
Facetime With Family
Help them Facetime with family members that may not be close by. Not an iPhone user? There are plenty of other apps like GoogleDuo, JioMeet, Skype, WhatsApp and more. Many can allow multiple participants on the call also so more family members could join in.
Get Them Moving
Fun activities to do with seniors can be simply going for a walk, doing yoga or lifting some light weights. Take them to the or zoo, botanical garden or a park, where there are plenty of benches to rest. Do some light stretching and balance exercises. All of these are good for maintaining daily health.
In closing, we could list a million fun activities to do with seniors, but all they want… all anyone wants… is to be loved. If nothing else, spend time with them. Talk to them. Listen to them. And genuinely care. At the end of they day, they’ll know it and feel it if you do.